Pope Lucius I

May 9, 2022

Pope Lucius I was one of Rome’s early third-century popes. Little is known about him safe from the fact that he was born on an unknown date to his father Porphyrianus and a mother whose name isn’t known. He was elected into the papacy in mid-253 in an election that happened during his predecessor Pope Cornelius’ persecution. His brief papacy occurred in a season when Novatianist controversy was at its extreme. Churches in Rome were skeptical over the issue of apostasy. Some claimed that religious clergies could forgive individuals who committed apostasy under persecution, while Novatians wanted them banished. Pope Lucius I and his predecessor Pope Cornelius’ are recorded in several letters of St. Cyprian as agreeing on the restoration issues of lapsed Christians who had repented of apostasy. Pope Lucius I was exiled to Civitavecchia by Gallus. When he was later allowed to return to Rome, he continued the policies laid by his predecessor Cornelius towards apostates who were skeptical of Christianity owing to the persecution of Decius in the Roman Empire. He firmly opposed the Novatian Schism perpetrated by antipope Novatians. Pope Lucious died in March 254 and is honored in Denmark as the patron saint of Copenhagen. There is eternal debate around Lucius’ martyrdom.

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